Friday, 6 May 2016

Uncanny Inhumans, Volume 1: Time Crush Review (Charles Soule, Steve McNiven)


Have you ever looked at the X-Men and wished you were reading a book of worse, derivative X-characters in even more convoluted storylines instead? Well good news because Marvel has the group for you: the Inhumans!

“They fell to Earth; they changed the world. Now, Black Bolt and the Inhumans get UNCANNY!” - that’s one of the dumbest taglines I’ve ever read. “They fell to Earth” - what?! And what does it mean that “the Inhumans get uncanny”? Know what other series has the Uncanny label? X-Men. Know which title Marvel are trying (and failing) to replace X-Men with? Inhumans. That’s probably what “the Inhumans get uncanny” means - how desperate. They REALLY want people to equate the Inhumans with the X-Men and it’s not happening at all.

So it’s been nearly 3 years since Black Bolt detonated the Terrigen bomb and the fucking Terrigen Mist is STILL floating around the world creating NuHumans (new Inhumans)!! When is this going to end - how can the Terrigen Mist dissipate?! Will it ever? The storyline for the same length of time has been the existing Inhumans finding the cocooned NuHumans and helping them understand what’s happened to them; has this storyline interested anybody? Because I was bored the first time I read it, let alone for however many times they’ve been doing it at this point! 

I’m by no means an Inhumans fan so my knowledge of them is limited - apparently Black Bolt has a son, Ahura, who is missing. Kang the Conqueror, a time-travelling alien villain, has Ahura for no reason. Black Bolt finds him because he went into the mouth of a dead Inhuman leader or something and the portal inside it took him straight to Kang - makes sense to me! Was the king called Plot Contrivance? 

I’m not sure if this takes place before Secret Wars or not - let’s say it does. Kang points out to Black Bolt that there is no future because the incursions that lead to the formation of Battleworld are wiping out all of the Marvel universes (or, I suppose, all but two at that point). Black Bolt asks Kang to save his son from this non-future which Kang agrees to. Why? Why does Kang have Ahura in the first place, why does he want him at all - to make the sexy time with?! 

Spoilers - Kang uses Ahura to destroy Inhumanity but it’s still not clear why Kang hates the Inhumans or why he needs Ahura to do it. Kang controls time, for fuck’s sake, he can just do it himself! Also, has it been established anywhere that Kang has a grudge against the Inhumans? (End spoilsies)

So yes: time-travel. THE Marvel go-to. If DC gets shit on for rebooting their stuff way too much, Marvel should get smeared with the shit stick for overusing time-travel storylines. As it always does, time-travel makes for a convoluted storyline where Black Bolt and a couple of nobodies bounce around time to somehow save Ahura from Kang while failing to point out why Black Bolt handed Ahura over to Kang in the first place if he was just going to end up saving him from him. What was gained from doing all of that?! It wasn’t like the world ended anyway - so maybe this did take place after Secret Wars? In which case, why the hell are they doing this “there is no future” crap so soon after Secret Wars?? Ah, why am I overthinking this, this is just pure garbage. 

Aside from the first Inhumans/Soule book, I’ve not been reading it so I didn’t know that Black Bolt and Medusa were divorced or something, but now I do, I still don’t care. Medusa’s dating Johnny Storm which I also don’t care about. Soule treats this though as a scintillating soap opera sub-plot because he’s turned into a hack. 

And get ready for some new, awful Charles Soule original Inhuman characters like Reader, a blind guy with a dog who acts as his eyes who can do whatever the plot needs him to do with some magic cards, and Triton, an Abe Sapien knockoff. Also, one of the NuHumans looks like a Groot cosplayer - seriously! These are the best characters Soule could come up with?? 

Steve McNiven’s art is the only props I’ll give this book. McNiven makes Black Bolt look like a badass in the action sequences and I liked the visual of when he spoke (Black Bolt’s most powerful weapon is his voice which is why he doesn’t speak most of the time). It’s a great-looking book, it’s just a shame the script isn’t there to match the art. 

Inhumans was on the Marvel movie slate until recently and I can see why they took it off. Marvel have tried to make the Inhumans work as their X-Men substitute for nearly 3 years now and have completely failed. The readership just isn’t there and who can blame them when the comics are this bad? Uncanny Inhumans is the latest example of how crummy these characters are and why Marvel need to abandon them entirely. Continue ignoring the Inhumans everybody, now the movie is nixed these terrible comics will be gone soon!

Uncanny Inhumans, Volume 1: Time Crush

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